Friday, February 09, 2007

Yakuza, Inc. Revisited

I've done some rethinking about the latest report from the National Policy Agency about yakuza syndicates, and have come to believe that it is not incompatible with my (just a little) tongue-in-cheek narrative of their restructuring efforts during the post-bubble economy. In fact, the NPA's claims that yakuza syndicates "are requiring their members to leave the syndicates in order to avoid exposure and prosecution and to pretend that they are not involved in finance, real estate and other business activities" parallels creative bookkeeping by their more respectable corporate brethren involving subsidiaries, overseas funds and other institutions under their control. Latest (Japanese) case in point: Nikko Cordial's profit statements debacle (Sorry, apparently not available in English).

Seriously, Robert Whiting should write a sequel to his Tokyo Underworld. How about: The Gaijin Yakuza in a Post-Bubble, Aging Society…… nah. But it may interest you to know that Organized Crime 2004 (National Police Agency, Mar. 2006) has a whole chapter on, yes, you guessed it, "Outline of the State of Crimes in 2005 by Foreigners Coming to Japan".

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